New Delhi: India on Wednesday asked Pakistan to release death row convict Sarabjit Singh so that he could benefit from the best possible treatment available in India or alternatively, shift him to a third country on humanitarian and sympathetic grounds.
The MEA issued a statement on the matter saying, "Our High Commissioner has met the Pakistan Foreign Secretary and urged the Government of Pakistan to immediately release Shri Sarabjit Singh on humanitarian and sympathetic grounds so that he can benefit from the best available treatment in India.
"Alternatively we have also proposed that Shri Sarabjit Singh should be sent to a third country for proper medical treatment. This is not the time for invoking legal and bureaucratic reasons for not taking the right steps to save a human life. We believe that every endeavour should be made to save his life."
Sources say that the Pakistan government is considering the request from India.
Earlier in the day, Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur threatened to go on a fast until Sarabjit was released.
Kaur, who returned to India from Pakistan on Wednesday, demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation and said she will not eat till her brother returned home. "When my brother returns home, I will eat only then. I want to apologise to his kids that I wasn't able to bring Sarabjit back," Kaur said.
Lashing out at the Indian government for not making efforts in bringing back Sarabjit, Dalbir Kaur said, "I am upset with Indian government for not taking stern steps. I kept telling the government of India that there is a threat to his life. Manmohan Singh should resign. He is so corrupt."
She also accused Pakistani doctors of not co-operating with her. Dalbir Kaur said, "Doctors never wanted to hand over Sarabjit's reports to me. They got irritated with me. If I would not worried about my brother, who would be? Zardari? Manmohan?"
"Sarabjit is still alive, he still blinks his eyes. I dont want him to die in Pakistan. If Malala can be taken abroad then why can't Sarabjit be brought to India," she added.
Even as doctors treating Sarabjit in Lahore's Jinnah Hospital said his chances of survival were 'slim', Dalbir Kaur said he can still get up and speak if the right treatment is given to him. "If Sarabjit is given the right treatment he can still get up and give all answers on who did all this with him."
She said she will meet the top brass in the government with her demands. "I will go to Delhi and meet Sonia Gandhi, Salman Khurshid and Sushil Kumar Shinde," Dalbir Kaur said.